All Blacks skipper Sam Cane returns fire at ‘brutal’ critics


A Rugby World Cup-like schedule of five Tests in six weeks was tough, but All Blacks captain Sam Cane says that despite that they were champing at the bit to play again after their 25-15 loss to Argentina last Saturday.

“It’s a shame we’re not playing this week. After coming off the game that we’ve had, our nature is that we want to get back out there and put it right,” Cane said.

According to the official website, the scrutiny the side, himself and coach Ian Foster came under after a loss was not a shock, but he said Foster had given them clear focus on what they need to do to get better.

“It’s doesn’t feel like we’re bogged and don’t have the answers,” he said.

Cane said that before the two losses he had enjoyed the year, but the last two weeks had been more challenging.

“But, if I compare my year with a lot of other peoples’ it helps put things in perspective that I’m still pretty fortunate to be doing what I love, representing our country and doing the best that we can,” he said.

Playing five Tests in six weeks could not be under-estimated. The only other time that occurred was at a World Cup. It was also a long time to be away from home with a lot of young fathers in the side.

“They’re not excuses, they’re just the reality,” he said.

They would learn to cope with that, and the players were as disappointed as everyone else with their last two outings.

 “The highs are high with the All Blacks team and the lows are low and you’ve got to keep perspective and keep working hard,” he said.

Cane said he understood frustration felt by fans because the players were frustrated also.


While he understood how fans felt he said looking at social media did not help. He said at last year’s World Cup he decided to stop looking at media, something he had regularly done to see what people were saying. But by not looking, he said it didn’t bother him as much as it did before.

Cane said the side’s attack had been outstanding ahead of their two losses, including putting a record margin on Australia.

But, attack and defence were correlated, he said, and the side’s discipline had not been up to scratch.

“If we’re giving away penalties when we turn the ball over we don’t get the chance to attack off that because we’ve got to go back for a penalty advantage.

“We’ve got some amazing fans, but we’ve also got some pretty brutal ones. 

“They may know the game from that they see in the 80 minutes but they don’t see a lot of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes,” he said.

Cane said the public might question his leadership but, the people who mattered to him were his team-mates and coaches and the people he worked with every day.

The All Blacks have the weekend off (when Australia will play Argentina), but will be back in action in their final Test of the year against the Pumas in Newcastle on Saturday, November 28. Protection Status


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